The response to Kay Rollison’s An Open Letter to Bill Shorten was overwhelming, suggesting that many Labor voters are dissatisfied with Mr Shorten’s performance as Leader of the Opposition. This, of course, remains open for debate. We follow this up with another letter to Mr Shorten, from Damian Smith, who is not so much dissatisfied with Mr Shorten himself, but the party he leads.
To The Hon. Bill Shorten,
Mr Shorten, I’m concerned.
My concerns regard yourself and the party that you lead and represent. Recent reports speculate that you are considering not blocking supply to this farcical attempt at fascism masquerading as a budget, that you would consider doing so “undemocratic”.
Mr Shorten, this budget is undemocratic. It is a stretch to even call it a budget. It would be more accurate to call it a summation of all of the broken promises of this government, all the brazen lies these cretins slathered on the Australian electorate in a craven grab for power. All of what was promised in the election has been retracted. The opposite has been put into effect. That is not, to my way of thinking, conducive with democracy.
This is the time when the Labor Party should be at its most vehement, jaws locked firmly on the exposed jugular of an overconfident foe. Yet you look set to let this injustice slide, to once again do what the Labor Party has become so good at in the last decade – capitulate.
Mr Shorten do you even remember the light on the hill?
I do, though every day it becomes even more dim and distant, as those of us who still strive for it are waylaid by the tyrannies of evil men and the sheer implacability of those that would set their will against us.
I used to be a member of the Labor Party. I believe in the values that the party was built on – equality, egalitarianism, “a fair go”. I believe that the measure of a man is in the quality of his work and the strength of his accomplishment, not the money in his bank or the name on his birth certificate. Ben Chifley’s Light On The Hill.
In those values I still believe, though I fear the Labor Party does not.
I had to leave. I left as I watched the political landscape change and not for the better.
I watched as the right-wing of Australia migrated from “right-wing” to “crazy, backwards, religiously extreme, flat-earth, young-earth, creationist, f**ked-up right wing” and I watched as the Labor Party, traditionally the “left”, in an attempt to claw back any and every vote that it could, went from being left wing to being “just slightly left of the Tea Party nutters”.
In the most Faustian of moves you sold your soul. You sold out the people who truly believed in the cause to try to woo those whose vote you would never have.
You neither had your cake nor the satisfaction of eating it.
That I could not countenance. So I left.
The right controls the media and so too do they control the paradigm. They control the lexicon and by association the minds of those swayed by such things. Climate change “debate”. Carbon “tax”. Budget “emergency”. It doesn’t matter that these things are not true, the lies will be printed anyway.
You can’t compete on this battleground, you don’t have the resources and, I would hope, lack the inclination. You can’t fight on their terms.
They’re so powerful that they have convinced a disturbing number of Australians that our greatest prime minister was actually our worst and that the world’s best treasurer of recent times was an incompetent buffoon who doomed our nation. You can’t win.
No amount of bipartisanship or flexibility is going to sway those who are not already for the cause. No amount of compromise is going to swing the vote of someone who has been convinced by a decade of Today Tonight that you are responsible for a fiscal crisis that never existed.
The only way for you to win is to provide a clear alternative. A better option. To offer people a glimpse of the light on the hill.
The answer is not to kowtow to the right but to provide a staunch and uncompromising banner on the left, one that shines high and proud for us to rally behind.
The right has convinced the people that socialism is a dirty word and that unions are tantamount to gangsters. The solution is not to abandon these principles, which are the core and the soul of the Labor Party, in an attempt to shed the stigma which has been so unfairly attached by a corporate agenda.
The answer is to embrace them, to wear them with pride and with dignity and to say that we are by the people, for the people, now and forever and that we will stand firm and implacable in the ebbs and flows of the capricious public.
That is the Labor Party I want to be a part of.
I should be your man Mr Shorten. I’m a Mascot boy, Kingsford-Smith – born under Bowen and raised under Brereton.
I’m a member of a trade union and a proud socialist. I’m at once both an artist and a blue collar worker – a comedian and an airport baggage handler. I AM the Labor Party.Yet I’m not a member. That concerns me and it should concern you.
Win me back Mr Shorten. Prove to me that this great party – Chifley’s party, Hawke’s party, the god-king-made-flesh Keating’s party, is still my party too. Lead by example. Lead by dissent, as our forefathers did.
Lead us to the light on the hill.
And you can start by blocking this blight of a budget.